Scott Gunnell is the new Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at JM&A Group, where he spent 20 years providing financing and insurance services to dealers. The auto group also trains and educates dealers to better understand their options and consumer habits. To discuss his vision for the company, and what the future holds for dealers and consumers, host Jim Fitzpatrick sits down with Gunnell on the current edition of Inside Automotive.
Gunnell begins by explaining that he intends to focus on two areas in his new role. First, JM&A Group will continue to provide education and resources to dealers to evolve with the industry and avoid falling behind in financing and insurance. Second, Gunnell wants to examine the company’s operations and training to make sure they are doing their best to help their dealer customers.
JM&A Group has changed in recent years to better serve its customers. While employees have traditionally been required to support current customers as well as bring in new customers, performing both tasks at the same time created conflict. “We never wanted our current customers to feel like we weren’t fully focused on their business,” Gunnell explains. The team has since been split between sales and service, so dealers can rest assured they have full access to the auto group’s resources.
These shifts are necessary for the company, as Gunnell notes that they must constantly adapt to keep up with the industry. “We understand that consumer buying habits continue to evolve, and the dealers are really rallying to meet the consumers where they are in the process.” Car buyers now want more flexibility in the car buying process, including online access to financing and insurance. “If consumers are comfortable with the environment they want to buy in, they will buy more products,” notes Gunnell. Dealers have all the incentives needed to accommodate this shift, which is why JM&A Group is now taking a wholesale approach to their services to be as incentivizing as possible for change.
Another shift in the market that Gunnell wants to capitalize on is the introduction of electric vehicles. New technology means new policies and new products to ensure consumers and dealers have their bases covered. JM&A Group created an EV brand called EV+ Protect for this purpose, adding services such as battery degradation guarantees where necessary. However, as the EV market grows, financing and insurance options will still need to stay current with traditional gas-powered vehicles.
These and other changes will help JM&A Group continue its mission to help its customers stay competitive. While adding services, accommodating changes in consumer habits and improving relationships with dealers is important, Gunnell believes it is even more important to ensure all operations are thorough and optimized, addressing gaps in training, education or services. avoided. Dealers can expect to be more prepared than ever for the future of financing and insurance.
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